Genene Jones, 66, has been charged with a second murder on top of the one she was convicted for. She is accused of murdering 11-month-old Joshua Sawyer, who died in 1981 from a lethal overdose of the anti-seizure drug Dilantin.
Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood said that investigators have linked Jones to as many as 60 other deaths. All of the children died under unusual circumstances during or shortly after one of Jones' shifts at the various hospitals and clinics she worked at.
"She's been suspected in dozens of infant deaths and she's only been held accountable in one," he said in a statement. LaHood said that his office is re-examining the deaths of the children and additional charges may be levied against her.
A grand jury in Bexar County, Texas, indicted Jones for the crime. She has already been sentenced to 159 years in prison over two charges: 99 years for murdering 15-month-old Chelsea McClelland by giving her a fatally large dose of a muscle relaxant, and 60 years for injuries dealt to then-four-week-old Rolando Santos by administering to him a large injection of the blood-thinner Heparin.
However, Jones was expecting to be released after serving one-third of her first sentence due to a loophole in Texas law. In 1977, Texas passed a law that allowed offenders to be released after serving one-third of their sentence if they showed good behavior in prison. In 1987, the law was amended to exclude violent offenders – but those sentenced to violent crimes in Texas between 1977 and 1987 (such as Jones) still enjoy the loophole's benefits.
The families of Jones' alleged victims expressed horror at the notion of the nurse being released from prison. "We didn't want her out," said Kay Reicheanu, whose daughter Misty nearly died as an infant after being cared for by Jones. "She's a serial killer. My daughter is alive and praise the Lord for that, but why would you let a serial killer out under any circumstance?"
"We have every reason to believe that she fully expected to get out next year," said LaHood, adding that Jones was "emotional" when she was served with the warrant.
LaHood had little sympathy for her. "Babies were taken from their families," he said. "Infant children were murdered by, who I believe, is an evil woman and that's not going to go unnoticed. These children matter."